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3RDegree - Ones & Zeros - Volume 0 CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.21 | 190 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars The new album 'Ones & Zeros - volume 0' is the prequel to 2015's volume 1 and another ambitious concept album from 3RD DEGREE that draws on themes of trans-humanism and the unintended consequences of being technologically connected with binary codes taking over our existence.

Re1nstall_0verture opens the album in a maelstrom of spacey keyboards from Dobbs, from paradiddles and jagged guitar riffs. It is glorious to enter an album with such a glowing atmosphere. The lead guitar work of Kliesch, Ziegler and Pseja shines brightly alongside the complex bass lines of Pashman. The ominous symphonic strings coalesce with squealing guitars embellished by the relentless drum patterns of Durham. Overall this is a brilliant instrumental.

Connecting opens with haunting piano motifs and an odd meter with estranged vocals. The effect is astonishing and makes this a very engaging composition.

Olympia is replete with lead guitars and keyboards with gorgeous harmonies and the theremin thrown in for good measure.

The Future Doesn't Need You has a soft opening and builds with quirky time changes and meters that would keep any respectable metronome swinging wildly. There are cool guitars and reflective lyrics to ponder over.

Unintended Consequences has a bouncy rhythmic layer and a striking harmonised vocal treatment on the high and low register that works well with the Dickason and Dobbs Duet. It is a very quirky song in passages but it engages the ear for some compelling listening.

Perfect Babies is really a low point of the album in terms of structure but I liked the Nietzsche quote by the child at the very end.

Logical Conclusion brings the album back to a high standard with the pristine vocals of Dobbs. It is a wondrous keyboard journey with meandering guitars that are simply outstanding.

Click Away! is the mini epic of over 15 minutes in length. It is a genuine multi movement suite that begins with airy piano and pondering lyrics. Here the atmosphere feels like something from the Beatles back catalogue from the White Album to Abbey Road era. Again the words echo the sentiments of the album that rejection is just one click away and there is a genuine anti social media theme permeating through out. The epic features glistening keyboards and marching drums with psychedelic harmonies. There are glorious guitar slides with impeccable fingerwork up-and-down the frets like a nervous spider. The lyrics have an emotional impact along with the beautiful acoustic picking and Beatlesque strings. It moves into early Gabriel Genesis structure, building slowly and inevitably to strong pounding orchestral rhythm. The offkilter percussion is jarring and urgent as it speaks of clicking on social media, and Facebook sites becoming a click farm for the consumer in this technological jungle we inhabit. The grinding organ and fuzzed guitar locks in and a more aggressive vocal as things heat up speaking of viral posts, spreading like wildfire projecting the ideal human. It is a wonderful track and the definitive highlight of the album.

Ones & Zeros concludes the album with jaunty rhythms, pounding syncopated drums and raspy vocals asking the question are you a one or are you a zero, stuck in a binary code much like the nude on the cover being enveloped by digitised creatures. The track has some very progressive sections with unusual time sigs and extended instrumentals. The theme of trans humanism is prominent; what are we becoming, is the technology engulfing humanity to the point of assimilation and what are we doing about it?

This new release is a dynamic album from 3RD DEGREE and a worthy successor to the previous releases. It comes highly recommended to lovers of concept prog with a quirky innovative central core.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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